"The challenge is to have several different sets on stage at one time so the play flows smoothly. "I also need to bring together a group of experienced and inexperienced actors and mold them into a cohesive team."
"As a result, while Gwen sees herself as self-sacrificing she has, in reality, become overbearing and controlling, both as a mother and wife. She is a snob and sees material wealth as a being very important. Gwen appears very forthright and unapproachable but, once she is faced with the reality of the storm and what is happening to young Tom and his family, she reassesses her life and attitude to her family."
While all of the characters in Away are away on a personal journey, Valerie believes Gwen travels the furthest. "She is so lost and is so far away from her family at the start of the play," she said. "Telling Gwen's story and making her journey back believable and real is my biggest challenge.
"I was looking for a play that was interesting and challenging and Away fit those criteria. It is also Australian but very different the writer has cleverly used Shakespeare and the genre of a play-within-a-play, blurring the boundary of what is real and what is make-believe."
Away plays at 8pm June 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 and 25 with 2pm matinees June 12 and 19. Tickets are $20, $16 concession book on 9399 9947, email@example.com or at www.trybooking.com/LCNW. The Latvian Centre Theatre is at 60 Cleaver Terrace, Belmont.